Essay on The Science of Deduction in Doyle’s The Sign of Four

Essay on The Science of Deduction in Doyle’s The Sign of Four

Length: 1060 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Deduction” is the word Sherlock Holmes uses to describe the detection skills he possesses. Throughout Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, the reader witnesses his skills in crime solving via detecting, and shares the amazement John Watson feels every time these “deduction moments” occur. However, these moments are not as incredible as they seem, and that “deduction” have been practiced by people that engage in textual practice and close reading.
In order to understand the similarity between Sherlock Holmes’ deduction process and making a close reading, its steps must be examined. The word “deduction” is different than “detection”. “Detection” is the act of finding and discovering, whereas “deduction” is more about finding conclusions and looking for outcomes. This small difference helps reader understand Holmes’ insistence on using the word “deduction”, for which his own article presents and evidence by mentioning “The Sign of Deduction” –which is the name of the first chapter in The Sign of Four; in the first novel, A Study In Scarlet (Doyle 16). He doesn’t merely “detect”, he also calculates and reaches to a conclusion. Moreover, he uses the word “observing”, which is the first step in his deduction process. He observes, calculates and applies logic, then reaches to a conclusion, therefore deducting.
The first step of the deduction process, observing, has two sides as seen in Holmes’ and Watson’s cases. What is similar to the close reading is Holmes’s observing methods, which are more scientific and academically acceptable. As the narrator of the novel, what the reader reads is John Watson’s observations. However, his observing is more subjective than Holmes’ observing. Sherlock observes to gather information and inf...


... middle of paper ...


... story for this reason, to prove “a hypothesis which covers the facts” (173)to himself and the others. The progress functions the same way in close reading. The reader must present evidences for his inferences to make them more credible and academically acceptable.
As a result, Sherlock Holmes’ crime solving skills are very similar to making a close reading. They both have objective observation, logical appliance and deduction phases, and they both have to present evidences for their claims if they want them to be acceptable by other people.



Works Cited
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir. “The Sign of Four”. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume 1.New York: Bantam Classics, 1986. Print.
Keep, Christopher, and Don Randall. "Addiction, Empire, and Narrative in Arthur Conan Doyle's" The Sign of the Four"." Novel: A Forum on Fiction. Brown University, 1999.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Sign Of Four By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is perhaps one of the best-known authors in the world. If you are unfamiliar with him perhaps you 'll know his creations better. He was the original creator of Sherlock Holmes, a revolutionary detective who was far beyond his time and helped shaped modern forensics. The Sign of Four is a story takes place in India and while being an incredible story that gives much insight into the characters, looking at the story from a historical viewpoint gives us a view into the genus that is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle]

Strong Essays
887 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about The Abandoning of Induction in Favor of Deduction and Falsification

- Induction A significant function of science, and of everyday thinking, is to make sense of available information. Induction is the process of going from the specific to the general thereby reaching a conclusion about the complex nature of the universe from a , thus far, limited set of observations. A person uses a collection of evidence, gained through experience, and uses it to form a conclusion which is conceived to be conform with the given facts. This means the observations may be true, but because of the given limitation of observation the conclusion could still be proven false....   [tags: Induction, Hume, science]

Strong Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Essay on Computer Science Is Not Just A Four Credit Class

- Computer Science is not just a four-credit class that students can take at St. Mary’s to fulfill their math credit for the core requirements; it is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications (“Computer Science”, 2015). Most think that computer science is just about learning the basics of computers, such as learning to use word processors, navigating the Internet, or how to download certain programs. This is a very common misconception. Computer science is however involved with developing these programs to make the lives of computer uses much easier....   [tags: Computer science, Computer, Mathematics]

Strong Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

Logic, Imagination and Deduction Essays

- Logic, Imagination and Deduction "Quit your day dreaming" "Mr. Gies, are you still with us?" "Hello!" These are some of the common inquisitions I heard while trying my best to pay attention during elementary school classes. It seems that I had some issues with staying on task. Perhaps it was a problem that I would outgrow, or at least be able to control, but as the years went on by I found that time did not change me. What a break. It turns out that using my imagination has helped me numerous times in solving networking issues, writing code, troubleshooting electronic devices, and designing complex systems....   [tags: Logic Imagination Deduction]

Strong Essays
782 words (2.2 pages)

The Scientific Sherlock Holmes : Cracking The Case With Science And Forensics

- The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics James O’Brien Sherlock Holmes and his methods have been criticized since the beginning. A news article titled Every Man His Own Holmes was published in the New York Times in 1894 after the first Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet” swept the public away. In this piece this editor describes the epidemic Holmes has caused: “Everyone knows the exasperating way in which Sherlock Holmes made what he called deductions. If he saw a man with muddy boots, he instantly deduced from that fact a long history of the man’s career, from his cradle to the moment when his boots became muddy....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, Fingerprint]

Strong Essays
1031 words (2.9 pages)

The Hound Of The Baskervilles By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay

- The Hound of the Baskervilles, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of Doyle’s crime novels that features the detective Sherlock Holmes who seeks to solve the mystery of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death and separate the cause of Baskerville’s death from a family tale of a menacing hound. The Hounds of Baskerville, directed by Paul McGuigan, is a modern-day film adaptation of Doyle’s story. Compared to The Hound of the Baskervilles, the realistic aspect and the theme of immorality accompanied by the portrayal of the results of unethical science through the characters in The Hounds of Baskerville all work to support the idea that the story serves as a cautionary tale against the loss of mo...   [tags: Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes]

Strong Essays
985 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Glorified Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

- The Glorified Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "How'd you figure that out Sherlock?" This is an expression used today, in complete sarcasm of course. Some people don't realize where this came from. Ultimately it came from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle was born in Scotland, raised in the medical field, even became a doctor and slowly transgressed to be one of the most remembered and well known writers of all time, and handsomely paid of course. Arthur Ignatius Conan Dolye was brought into this world on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh Scotland....   [tags: Biography Arthur Doyle]

Free Essays
1059 words (3 pages)

The Heroes Curiosity in She and The Sign of Four Essay

- The Heroes Curiosity in She and The Sign of Four The hero cannot progress without curiosity.  However, curiosity can turn into a dangerous obsession.  There are many good examples of this throughout Victorian literature.  Literary works such as She by H. Rider Haggard and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for example, reflect the curious mind at work using scientific exploration to achieve the goal of solving the mystery, but attempting to solve the mystery poses dangers to the protagonists that, at first, they are unaware of.  The curious mind, seeking discovery, eventually sees the dangers but does not turn back.  The mystery has become an obsession to the curious mind, and f...   [tags: she four]

Strong Essays
1911 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Glorification of Masculinity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Lost World

- Glorification of Masculinity in The Lost World      The male ego and the fulfillment of a man's own image of himself can be strong motivating forces behind his actions and behaviors. Society has created parameters used to define a "real" man; failing to live up to these specifications threatens one's masculinity and standing amongst one's peers. These expectations and requirements for manhood are constantly reinforced by society. The prevailing stereotype of the classic "Marlboro Man" along with movie heroes such as James Bond, Indiana Jones, and John Wayne give the impression of the adventurous ladies' man who laughs in the face of danger and can do no wrong....   [tags: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Lost World Essays]

Strong Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on A Deduction

- A Deduction Kant's subjective A deduction is not a "deduction" in the traditional philosophical sense. Rather, it is a "justification" in the sense of the language of legal practice. (1) What Kant wants to justify is that the categories are the necessary a priori conditions for the possibility of experiential objects. This justification also has another role in Kant's overall project. If he can prove the categories are the necessary a priori grounds for the possibility of experiential objects, then he can justify the use of philosophical synthetic a priori propositions....   [tags: Kant Psychology Essays]

Strong Essays
3703 words (10.6 pages)